Do You Find It Embarrassing to Scratch in Front of Others?
Last updated: January 2022
One of the most maddening things about life with psoriasis has to be the itch. For me, there are times when it gets so bad it takes all my energy to keep from scratching. I know I shouldn’t scratch - but how else am I to stop the grief?
To scratch or not to scratch?
However, I find myself in a query, especially when I am around other people. Mostly everyone around me knows I have psoriasis and they do not understand the itching, cracking, and bleeding that comes along with having this chronic condition.
When I find myself around new people who do not know about my diagnosis is when I become a little more self-conscious. I find it so embarrassing when I catch myself scratching without thinking about it. I have also encountered other instances of scratching that have brought me so much embarrassment.
In front of family...
I used to be embarrassed to scratch in front of my family. They do not understand the itching or the fact that nothing stops the itching for a long period of time. My mother, who was a nurse for almost 30 years, tells me all the time to stop scratching. I have gotten used to the fact that I know I am going to hear it from her.
The rest of my family never comments on my scratching. However, there was a time when the scratching caused me some embarrassment with my son and daughter-in-law. It was at night and I was sitting on the bed in their guest room. Of course, the psoriasis on my ankle started itching. I scratched. When I did I guess it was too much because it started bleeding to the point it got on their carpet. I was mortified.
Can't it just stop?!
Of course, there have been occasions when I have scratched my psoriasis plaques in front of others. It is not without the embarrassment that I choose to do it. All I can think of at the time is that I want the itching to stop. If I see them watching, I will take the opportunity to explain the condition. I always start off by asking if they ever had poison ivy before.
I have learned over time to excuse myself to the bathroom if the itching gets too bad. If for whatever reason we are staying over at a friend’s house overnight, I wear socks so that I do not get flakes or blood on their sheets. It took me several instances of getting embarrassed to learn that one.
Itching is inevitable
Let’s face it - itching simply comes with having psoriasis. I wish they would invent something that would at least do away with the itching. However, if there is something out there, I have not found it. I can put topicals on there that will stop the itch short term but it never stops it fully.
It is in those maddening times that I find myself in embarrassing situations when the urge to scratch takes over. Has this ever happened to you? If you feel comfortable sharing, please do. I know I cannot be the only one to ever experience embarrassing times due to scratching. Let’s share so that no one has to feel like they are alone in dealing with it.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?